Managing the Winter Weather – We’re Working for You.

The snow is falling and a winter weather advisory remains in place until 1 PM this afternoon.

To maintain access to essential services, we’ve been pre-treating streets, plowing snow, and working closely with our partners. Follow our progress and see where our plows have been. View our traffic cameras on our interactive Winter Weather Response Map (for best viewing, use Firefox or Chrome).

We’re working for you!

Downtown Seattle Snowfall

On Sunday at noon, our crews were dispatched from our Charles St, Haller Lake, and West Seattle facilities with granular salt to begin pre-treating all green and gold routes. Mechanics were called in to support operations and we coordinated with WSDOT to gain access to tunnel entrances and exits to ensure continuous pre-treatment of surfaces leading into and out of the tunnel.

We’ve been working around the clock.

SDOT Snow Crews Pouring Ice

We’ve been working around the clock and remain committed and on track to clearing snow from major routes throughout the city within 12 hours of a significant lull in the storm. For example, we pre-treated the Aurora Bridge yesterday at noon and three times since.

Currently:

  • We have over 35 plows running.
  • Drivers from Seattle Public Utilities and Seattle Parks and Recreation are assisting.
  • We’re replenishing our salt supply with 500 more tons of salt and covering all routes shown on the map.
  • We’re also working to treat curb ramps for people walking.
  • Since noon yesterday 74 drivers and 14 hand crews have checked into work. Despite this effort, there has not been a stop in the storm to allow us to completely clear.

Winter storms – here’s our plan.

SDOT Crews On The Go

Here’s how we roll:

  • Our staff follows weather reports 24 hours a day, all year long, with a direct line to the National Weather Service and live Doppler radar feeds.
  • We use a forecasting tool developed with the University of Washington called SNOWWATCH to learn how a storm will most likely affect different neighborhoods. This information helps determine where the crews will be needed first.
  • Our computerized sensors located on city bridges, and also ground surface sensors, provide timely and accurate air and roadway surface temperatures.
  • We use real-time, live-streaming cameras to see actual conditions on key streets.
  • The City of Seattle takes a proactive approach, using best practices to respond to snow and ice:
    • SDOT crews use trucks fitted with plows and salt-spreaders to keep major streets clear.
    • When conditions allow, the crews’ pre-treat key streets and bridges with salt brine before the snow starts falling to help prevent ice from forming.
    • As the snow begins to fall, the crews continue to drive their routes, treating the roadway with salt brine or granular salt where needed. When approximately one inch of snow has accumulated, they begin plowing.

We rely on you as well. Delay your trip if you can. Plus safety tips.

SDOT Winter Tips

During major winter storms, plan your trip by seeing where the snow plows have been and viewing traffic cameras. View the interactive Winter Weather Response Map.

Know the routes on the Winter Weather snow and ice route map.

Follow SDOT, WSDOT, and King County Metro on Twitter for additional information throughout the day:

✔️ Drivers

If you need to drive, please take extra care when traveling. Clear your vehicle’s windows, drive slow, and if you need to stop, move out of active travel lanes. If driving is unavoidable, you’re responsible for outfitting your cars for winter weather, including chains or other traction devices.

Remember, while snow is forecasted to taper off, temperatures will stay cold and streets have the potential to be slick.

✔️ Safety

Look out for each other. If you’re driving, be extra mindful of pedestrians and people biking. If you’re walking or biking, make sure you can see and be seen. We have safety lights if you need any! Let us know. Drivers, be sure to turn your headlights on.

✔️ Trains, buses, & ferries

If you are plan on using the bus, train, or ferry, know before you go:

  • See the latest information on Metro’s blog. They’ll keep their eye on the King County Metro Transit commute from 6-9 AM and again from 3-7 PM and will post about service disruptions.
  • Follow Metro’s RSS feed for real-time updates, bookmark their blog, or visit the Metro Online website for additional information and services.
  • If you take the train, find Sound Transit alerts and information here.
  • For Ferry info, please visit Washington State Ferries’ Travel Alert BulletinsKitsap Transit’s Fast Ferry, and/or WSDOT’s ferries site regarding your ferry commute.

✔️ Outages

If you notice a downed power line, DO NOT touch or approach it. Please report downed wires or outages to Seattle City Light at 206.684.7400. Check out City Light’s outage map and tips for what to do when your power goes out. When traffic lights are out, treat the intersection as a 4-way stop. You can also stay connected, even when the power is out by downloading Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) mobile app, to track and report power outages in your neighborhood and check status and estimated restoration times, all in the palm of your hand. Follow PSE on Twitter.

✔️ Fallen trees or branches

If you notice fallen trees or other debris blocking streets or sidewalks, contact our 24-hour dispatch crews at 206.386.1218.

✔️ Park facilities

Park programs and facilities may be affected. Please check the @SeattleParks Twitterchannel, blog, and/or website.

✔️ Winter storm planning

For information on planning for the winter storm season, like what you should include in your emergency preparedness kit, check out Take Winter By Storm, our multi-agency preparedness site. For the latest emergency notifications, sign up for Alert Seattle to get alerts via text, tweet, and more. You can also follow the National Weather Service Seattle’s Twitter.

Learn about our Winter Weather Response.

Check out our Winter Weather Response webpage for a winter weather response map, winter weather brochure, and snow route map. Learn about our winter environment and what to expect if it snows.